NZ Sevens ticket sales plummet

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 12:03
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NEWS: A mere 1 300 tickets have been sold for the upcoming Wellington Sevens on January 28 and 29.

The two-day event is being played at Westpac Stadium but by mid-December less than four percent of the tickets have been sold, which went on sale in September 2016.

While new sevens events such as Sydney and Vancouver draw big gates, the popularity of the Wellington Sevens has been on a downward spiral.

In the past, the event used to be sold out in a matter of minutes but according to  New Zealand newspaper Stuff tickets sales are sluggish with only 1 300 tickets being sold for the tournament despite the stadium's capacity of 34 500.

The 2016 event drew crowds of 15 000 people on both weekend days and the event was understood to have lost NZ$300 000 (US$ 209 000).

A combination of factors, including waning interest and a crackdown on intoxication has turned punters off the event in recent times.

In an interview with Stuff Wellington Sevens general manager Steve Dunbar stated he had no idea about the number of ticket sales.  

Despite previously providing pre-event ticket sale numbers, Dunbar said he would not be specific.

"Each year we listen to fans and to change the market approach. We are gearing up for that now.

"We are doing all we possibly can. I hope people come out and have a good time," he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor Paul Eagle urged locals to come out and support the event.

"The expectation is that the sevens will never be the event that it once was. I appeal to Wellingtonians to get behind the event. They can remember the old days but there is nothing stopping people from having fun again."

The council was no longer on the sevens' governance board but it still provided "minimal" funding, he said.

Exactly how much has not been revealed, however, it is understood to be in the vicinity of NZ$150 000 (US$105 000).

A recent meeting of the city council's council-controlled organisations committee suggested  Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency take the lead on the sevens.

"There needs to be a rethink. Maybe it could be repositioned to become a community festival, perhaps at the Basin Reserve," Eagle said.

Hospitality New Zealand Wellington regional manager Dylan Firth said the industry was not expecting a big weekend and were basing expectations on last year, he said.

"The event is not as huge as it once was, so people are not putting any investment into it,"

Last year organisers tried to boost crowd numbers by moving the event to earlier in the year, and offering cut-price tickets and incentives for families to bring children. It also had the added draw card of All Blacks or Super Rugby players, who were preparing for the Olympics but they are unlikely to be playing this year.

Stuff.co.nz

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
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Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SEVENS
MORE LOGS
Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Korea Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Chile 0 0 0 1 10
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
Hong Kong 0 0 0 0 1
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
Team P W D L Pts
Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Japan Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens